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8. The provincial Chancellor (Huotai) of Shansi instructs professors to inform their students, that if they join Christianity, they shall have their degrees taken away.
9. A Taotai in Shansi, when a complaint was made of a degree being taken away from a man for being a Christian, wrote in reply that such talk grated on his ears.
10. The prefect of Tehnghan-fu, in Hupeh, tried to get a missionary out of the city, but finding it difficult to do so by ordinary measures, took advantage of the examinations and issued the two following subjects to the candidates to write about:
11. The prefect of Tsingchow-fu, in Shantung, encouraged the people to oppose missionaries, by threatening to dismiss from his service, those who would continue to visit the missionary.
12. Magistrates in Kwangtung, Fookien, Hupeh, Shantung, and Shansi provinces have taken a variety of means to oppose Christians. Some have issued proclamations against Christians, some have been present at mob attacks on Christian houses, have suggested burning of houses when the mob had only thrown stones, have issued warrants against Christians on false complaints, have not punished their opponents for real charges, and known to them to be so, but let them go quite free. They have exacted promises from the people to insult the first foreigners that come by. When attempts are made on the lives of missionaries, no punishment so far as we know was administered. It is almost the universal rule to beat and imprison any landlord, or middleman, who will dare to rent a house to the missionaries in the interior.
13. A book of cases of persecutions published for the guidance of officials as precedents.
These are a few of the instances which have come to the knowledge of the writer. If those known to every Legation in Peking, and those known to every consul and every missionary in China were added, we can imagine what a long list we might have. Result of this course :
The most marked perhaps is what followed on the publication of Commissioner P'eng's memorial, when eighteen Protestant chapels were either destroyed or robbed within a few weeks afterwards. Missionaries in Kwangtung, Shantung, Shensi, Honan, Hupeh, and Kweichow, have been compelled to leave some of their stations. Some have been violently attacked, native Christians are attacked with clubs and swords, robbed of their property and their clothes. They are also driven out of their houses and villages, and subjected to endless annoyances and cruel privations. Their women we are told are subjected to worse indignities. An eye witness told
us that it was quite common, to see soldiers in Canton firing their guns in the chapel doors in passing. He saw a soldier maliciously stepping up behind a missionary, drawing his sword, and making the motion of cutting his head off. The ordinary insulting names have now given way to another which is common in the street: "Ta," "Kill him!" It will be a mistake to think that this opposition all arises out of the proximity of Canton to Annam. Early this spring, the cry to exterminate, was used by one of the Chinese magistrates in Shantung, and reported to Peking. As for native Christians, both in Shantung and Kwangtung, magistrates have refused to consider their petitions. In Kwangtung there was a refusal even after the Foreign Consul requested their case to be attended to.
And what influence have the Foreign Consuls exercised over the Chinese authorities when they have refused to rent land in the interior? They have undoubtedly helped very efficiently in many cases. Yet in many instances things are allowed to hang on for years without any redress, and the so-called redress when it does come, is only after irreparable damage is done, and there is no guarantee given against the repetition of the same thing in other places, or even in the same place. This is not serious law when it is left to the caprice of any local magistrate.
I was told early in 1884 by a high official in the American Legation, that there was seldom any time but that there was some missionary trouble on hand before the Tsungli Yamen; not that the cases were numerous, but that it was almost impossible to get the Central Government to do anything in the matter. An American Consul told me lately, that the American Government does not claim any right for missionaries, which it does not also claim for merchants; therefore they cannot "claim" the right of missionary residence inland, nor can they do more in the protection of native Christians than to "represent" matters to the native authorities. And we have just seen that now some are brave enough to dare foreign displeasure, and drive the Christians away in contempt and anger. Chinese outlaw the Christians and set foreign representation at defiance. We see the utter unsatisfactoriness of such a toleration, which allows the Chinese Government to play fast and loose with it, according to the caprice of the party in power. Moreover, early in 1884, the missionaries and their representatives, owing to the French war, did not wish to press the Chinese Government on the Missionary Question, until that was over; but since the Chinese Government allows its late general proclamation not to interfere with missions to be made a dead letter, in many places by local action, and the French war, is made an occasion to cruelly persecute Christians, it is our duty now to memorialize our Protestant representatives, to
take immediate steps for the protection of Christians and the punishment of their persecutors, be they non-official or official, high or low.
The Tientsin massacre arose suddenly, without a hundredth part of this brewing beforehand. It should not astonish us to have a far more fearful one now, if only an unscrupulous man like him who appeared in Tientsin, were to turn up and apply the spark.
The Chinese Government in their missionary circular justly say that, if any such a catastrophe should happen, the blame would rest with them and with the Foreign Representatives for not making proper regulations in time. Meanwhile, it is our duty to call the immediate attention of the Chinese Government and Foreign Powers in Peking.
In reviewing our political status, many startling facts are presented before us. I shall sum up briefly those which are of most practical importance, and add a few remarks.
I. The toleration clause in the Treaty of Tientsin is not in force now.
II. We are under a modified form of it, which Sir R. Alcock said would prevent much extension inland. We witness this now with an adverse Government. Still the modification was admittedly only a temporary measure.
III. We were left to the mercy of the Chinese Government, and the influence of Foreign Officials-no written law.
(1) One ground of this is, to give no privileges to missionaries which are not given to merchants. We must beware of the fallacy there.
(2) Another ground was, that Foreign Governments could not give protection inland. Are passports a sham then? Did the British Government admit such an argument in the Margary case?
(3) Another ground was, that there was nobody to settle missionary questions in the interior. It is well known that missionaries are sometimes made Consuls in China by the United States. The British Government appoints missionaries in the interior of Africa. Evangelical Alliances are formed in China now. The provincial chairmen of these, in the absence of better means, would manage these things far better than at present.
(4) Another ground was, the fears of the evils of Religious Propaganda and its consequences. These fears have not been justified. Witness the peace under some officials.
(5) The last ground was, that British Ministers evidently believed that the missionaries and the native Christians were much to blame. IV. We missionaries should correct our errors. It is scarcely to be believed that the Foreign officials, Chinese officials, and some of our fellow missionaries, should agree even partially in this, with
out some grain of truth in it. Whilst true to Christianity, we must be just to the Chinese, and show how Christ fulfils, and not destroys in China, as well as in Judea. The Scripture tells us of a law of God written in the heart of the Gentiles, as well as of the law of God given to Moses. We must respect this law wherever found. Still it is not just to charge the errors of one party to the whole body. The same is true of Protestants and Romanists. The same is also true of the many natives made to suffer for the faults of the few. V. What is the result of this new modification of the Treaty? (1) It does not grant freedom of residence in the interior to missionaries. Witness Formosa, the Min, Woochang, Yangchow of many years ago. Also the later difficulties in Tsinan-fu, Singan-fu, and Tsungchow-fu. We had last year difficulties in Tehngan-fu, and Ichang, in Hupeh, not to mention Formosa, Swatow, and Cantonalways grave difficulties.
(2) Native Christians are persecuted-now completly outlawed, in some instances-notwithstanding foreign representations. VI. We therefore ask for an inquiry.
(1) To punish all who are guilty of any crime.
(2) To free Protestants of charges which are only true of Romanists.
(3) To put an end to this temporary arrangement of indefinite understanding between the Governments, by substitution of the original clause, and by freedom of inland residents.
(4) To get the freedom of native Christians put in the statute book, with proper penalties, like every other law.
(5) To protect us from the violence of anti-foreign officials and a government professedly hostile.
(6) To have the true status of missionaries recognized-neither civil officials nor mere literati.
(7) To reconsider then the Circular of the Chinese Government, which, so far as it aims to free the Government from any anxiety, may count on the aid of every Protestant missionary, for the aims of every missionary are the same as the best officials of China, viz., to do their utmost for the benefit of China, both as regards its temporal and everlasting good. All that is wanted is better regulations.
VII. The Chinese Christians in all the provinces should also make a general petition to their proper authorities, for the freedom of Christians being truly recognized by the Chinese Government, and proclaimed throughout the Empire.
VIII. If China, England, U. States, and Germany will neither singly nor unitedly protect the innocent, will France or Russia do it? Or is there any better way? We should all earnestly wait on God, and see what he would have us do. Those who hear his voice must act.
STATISTICS OF MISSIONS.
From the Annual Report of the Church Missionary Society for 1883-4, we gather the following statistics, regarding their Missions in China, for the year ending September 30th, 1883.
The following are the statistics of the China Mission of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the U.S. America, for the year ending August 31, 1884, as found in The Spirit of Missions for December:—
Places where Divine Service is held,
Individuals reached by the Church's ministrations,
Average Native attendance on Public Worship,
... 8,000 19,350
Confirmations (by Bishop Moule),